Instagram photography: is it worth it?

For me, photography is a creative outlet that shouldn’t be limited by the confines of an Instagram account aesthetic. For this reason, I have long feared sharing my photos on an Instagram account outside of my main account. The last thing I want to do with my photos is put them in a context that subjects them to other people’s ideas of what a “good” photography portfolio should look like. However, I have come to care less about what others think of my artistic expression and more about the expression itself, as it is one of the aspects of my life that I hold most sacred. So, after much internal debate, I finally created a photo account on Instagram last week. I have decided that my unique creative perspective is the only aesthetic (if I can even call it that) through which I will share my photos.

Now after about a week of using this account, do I recommend it? Is taking an Insta photograph really worth it? After all, it takes time out of my already busy college lifestyle, not to mention how it forces me to be on Instagram maybe longer than I should or want. And what about the endless possibilities of presenting photographs that Instagram offers – between editing tools, filters, tags, location specifications, captions, comments, posts, stories and even the coils? Is that too much to attach to a photo that should probably speak for itself?

When I find myself in this spiral of overthinking and perfectionism, I remember why I love photography in the first place and why I decided to give it a life of its own on social media; From the moment I lay my eyes on a scene, to the moment I take the photo or photos, to the editing process (which can be extensive or minimal depending on my view of the photo), and up to choosing how to post the photo on Instagram – the whole process brings me so much joy. Translating even just one of the many visions I might have for a single photo gives me a unique kind of creative fulfillment, and thus makes the process meaningful.

So if you’re about to create an account dedicated to your photography hobby, ask yourself: do I appreciate the steps Instagram could add to the creation process? Do I value my artistic expression over how seriously the account can be taken by those who encounter it? As with any creative endeavor, trust your instincts and know that your creative identity exists whether or not you feel comfortable presenting it online.

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